Newcastle teen kickboxer to represent England at WKC World Championships

Emily Kelsey, 14, who will be representing England alongside her teammates at the WKC World Championships in Portugal.
-Credit: (Image: Chronicle Live)


A teen kickboxer will represent England at the WKC World Championships along with five of her teammates.

Emily Kelsey, 14, will be heading to Portugal in October alongside; Neve, Logan, Fleur, Kyla and Allanah, from Universal Martial Arts, which is based in Benfield Business Park. Emily, from Walkerville, first got into kickboxing in 2019, joining in the classes that her twin sisters, now 11, were taking part in.

She instantly enjoyed the sport, finding it challenging and different from anything else and quickly moved up to the advanced classes. Just after the gym reopened after the pandemic, Emily was asked if she wanted to begin competing.

Emily said: "I began to compete in points fighting which is very different to regular kickboxing so that was a bit of an adjustment. There is a lot of adrenaline that comes with it but it quickly became second nature and I was able to start having success."

Emily Kelsey, 14, who will be representing England alongside her teammates at the WKC World Championships in Portugal.
Emily Kelsey, 14, who will be representing England alongside her teammates at the WKC World Championships in Portugal. -Credit:Chronicle Live

Emily's mum Carolyn, who also trains at the gym, added: "We are all extremely proud of her, it has been amazing to see her grow from a kid who wanted to take part to now be part of the team. They are a really nice bunch of kids, even when they fight each other at competitions they are so supportive, and it's great for Emily to be a part of."

As well as training themselves for competition, the children, aged between 12 and 17, also teach in the younger classes, in order to pass on their expertise to the next group of students. They regularly compete and have won several medals for the club, showing huge amounts of dedication to their sport

The group are excited at the prospect of representing their country, with three of them achieving the titles of European champion in various categories at the WKO European championships last month.

Carolyn added: "Kickboxing is a sport that isn't funded so as parents there is strain on all of us to ensure that our children can compete at the highest level and travel to the competitions. That's why we started the GoFundMe page, in order to support our children in the best possible way."

If you would like to donate towards the costs of the team from Universal Martial Arts travelling to Portugal to compete at the WKC World Championships, follow the link to their GoFundMe page here.